Gujarat’s wind energy capacity grows highest in 4 years

In yet another leap in renewable energy sector, Gujarat has registered highest growth in wind power generation during past four years. Installed wind power generation capacities in the state has increased by 36 per cent during 2011-12 to 2,966 megawatt (Mw), making the state second only to Tamil Nadu in India’s wind energy sector.

As per the Indian Wind Energy Association (IWEA) data, growth in wind power generation capacity has been highest since 2008-09. The state has outperformed the national average growth of 22 per cent for the wind power generation capacities.Notably, Gujarat’s share in India’s total wind generation has increased from around 15 per cent in 2011 to 17 per cent in 2012. India’s total installed wind power capacities stand at 17,365 Mw for 2011-12.

Installed wind power generation capacity in Gujarat rose by 915 Mw since April 2011, according to data provided by Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA). It further said that Gujarat’s total installed wind power generation capacity stood at 3,010 Mw in 2012-13. “Gujarat has the benefit of plenty of land available for wind power generation mainly in the Kutch region. Other states have more of individual land, which makes it difficult for wind energy generation to grow,” said Anil Kane, wind energy expert and former president of Indian Wind Energy Association (IWEA).

A large number of private investors have entered into Gujarat’s wind energy sector. Several memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed during the previous Vibrant Gujarat investors’ summits. “Installation of wind energy unit is not a problem, but evacuating the power is a major concern. Many units are still not coming because of the lack of evacuation lines,” said a wind power project developer in Gandhinagar.

According to Kane, the industry has asked the state government to channelize the funds collected through imposition of Green Cess.

“Funds worth Rs 200-300 crore collected through Green Cess, must be utilized for laying down evacuation lines. Other states like Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have good infrastructure,” said Kane.

As per Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA), the state has installed wind power generation capacity of 7,134 Mw as on September 2012.

Industry experts said wind velocity in the range of 6-7 meters per second is best suitable for the wind power generation. This is available in Gujarat due to winds blowing from Arabian sea and in desert area of Kutch.

However, insiders maintained that states like Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have shown saturation in the wind power generation, Gujarat and Rajasthan are the most preferred states for the entrepreneurs in the wind energy sector.